W

hy would anyone apply for multiple cards on the same day? Wouldn’t that look like you’re more desperate for credit and lower your score even more?

The answer is if done correctly, it actually minimizes the effect on your credit score.

The reason why is that certain card issuers/banks will combine multiple credit inquiries on the say day into a single hard pull.

I’ll explain.

 

What is a “Hard” Credit Inquiry?

From doctorofcredit “When a credit report is pulled to aid in a lending decision (e.g when you apply for a credit card) this is known as a hard inquiry or hard credit pull. A hard inquiry affects your credit score (usually dropping it by 1-5 points for a short period of time, for usually no more than six months. It completely stops affecting your FICO score after a period of twelve months and will only stay on your credit report for up to two years), hard inquiries can also used by card issuers to determine if somebody is chasing sign up bonuses (these people are unlikely to be profitable cardholders) but this is uncommon”

As I’m sure you can tell, less hard inquiries are better. But you want the nice juicy signup bonuses you say? The way to maximize signup bonuses and minimize hard inquiries is to apply for multiple cards from the same card issuer/bank at the same time.

 

WARNING

As everything in the points and miles game you need to have a good credit score, pay off your credit card every month and not carry a balance. This is advanced stuff and there are usually no “formal rules” to go by so YMMV.




 




How to Apply for Multiple Cards at Once

When trying to combine multiple credit pulls you want your credit card applications to be as close together as possible (and definitely on the same day!).

The way to do this is by using multiple browsers (ex. Chrome, IE, Firefox, Safari), using incognito mode or by using multiple computers. This is known as a 2BM, 3BM etc for the number of browsers you used (BM=browser method). This multiple BM (yes I know that sounds funny if you’re in the healthcare field 😉 ) is used to circumvent the issue of the browser “remembering” that you just applied for an application and now allowing you to submit another.

All these steps are best done early in the day (or during UK hours for Barclaycard as they are UK based) to make sure the reconsideration department is open when you call (probably best to even call the reconsideration line first to make sure too). Otherwise if you have to call the next day for one of your cards this will likely result in a second hard pull.

 

Steps to Apply for Multiple Cards at Once

  1. Open 2+ browsers, fill out the entire application but don’t hit send yet until both applications are fully filled out. Remember we want the timing to be as close together as possible.
  2. Always hit apply on the most important card first as this has the highest chance of receiving an instant approval.
  3. Hit send on each application in quick succession.
  4. The first one may be auto approved (hopefully), the others will probably go into pending. Don’t be alarmed, this is normal
  5. Immediately call the reconsideration line for any applications that went into pending or even denied. As long as you followed the rules for each card issuer (see below), the reason for the pending status is to verify your identity and confirm that it was indeed you who sent in the application! This is done to prevent fraudulent activity (aka someone getting your info and opening a ton of cards). No need to discuss that you’re opening multiple cards to the representative unless they bring it up, just ask if they needed any more information to process your application. If they ask why you’re opening multiple cards (or multiple of the same card!) you can tell them something along the lines of wanting to keep certain purchases separate.
  6. Make sure to read how to make reconsideration calls before applying or calling in.
  7. Repeat steps for each card that goes into pending. If no success remember hang up and call again!

 

Rules for Each Card Issuer

For a good overview on the credit card application rules for each card issuer check out this post.

The summary pertaining to combining multiple pulls is as follows:

  • Amex – 1 credit card + 1 business/charge card on the same day
  • Bank of America – up to 4 (or more!) cards on the same day. You can even get multiple of the  same card on the same day! Recently though there have been reports of B of A cracking down on multiple applications. See my personal experience being approved for three Alaska Airlines cards on the same day! (2 of the same Alaska personal card and 1 Alaska business)… it worked twice for me and once for my father! To see the results of one crazy guy applying for 10 B of A cards on the same day read this post.
  • Barclaycard – possibly can be approved for 2 on the same day. Note UK time for reconsideration call
  • Chase – possibly can be approved for 2 on the same day. There are some reports of people being approved for 1 person and 1 business in same day, or even 2 personal, but rates of success do not seem to be as good as for AMEX or Bank of America.
  • Citi – you can be approved for a personal and business card on the same day but the inquiries will NOT be merged due to it being different departments.
  • Discover – no.

 

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“Dreams and dedication are a powerful combination”

William Longgood________________